For any mountain biker, the thought of escaping to a hill station with its panoramic views is extremely enticing. Add to that a dedicated cyclist park and you will have literally no reasons to not ride out at this very moment. On Sunday, Darjeeling became the first hill station in India to get a mountain biking park along a 20-km stretch through the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary. Bikers can now ride through the forest cover, undisturbed by vehicles that will be prohibited from the region.
The trail will originate at the sanctuary’s main gate near Jorbangla and finish at the state tourism guesthouse situated in the hillside village of Chatakpur. Riders can take tea breaks at Chatakpur and even lodge there if they wish to.
A cycle rally, organised by Darjeeling district administration and Off Road Adventure on Sunday, marked the beginning of many adventures to come on Sunday where bikers rode out from Darjeeling to Chatakpur.
The cycling trail opens throughout the day from dawn to dusk and remains off limits only during the monsoon. Riders can rent mountain bikes from Darjeeling at a price of Rs. 800 per day and permits can be bought at Rs. 50 for a 30-minute ride from Darjeeling.